EghtesadOnline: In lines with policies to monitor and reduce air pollution in the fossil fuel industry, plans are in place to equip all petrochemical plants in Iran with online pollution control systems, director of the Comprehensive Monitoring Office at the Department of Environment said.
"The online systems have already been installed in almost one-fourth of oil, gas, petrochemical and refining industries," Shina Ansari was also quoted as saying by Shana, the official news agency of the Oil Ministry, on Tuesday.
Highlighting the significance of real-time reporting of polluting indices in heavy industries, Ansari said online systems are essential in today's industrial landscape because of tightening compliance with sustainability standards and heightened environmental standards.
"Thanks to online data processing systems, the DOE does not need to send experts to power plants to measure their emissions or analyze the level of pollutants, such as nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide and sulfur," she added, noting that fuel consumption and the level of pollution in industrial units can be recorded by online monitoring systems, Financial Tribune reported.
The government has instructed power plants and refineries to use gas instead of polluting feedstock such as mazut due to the abundance of gas reserves and the rise in South Pars Gas Field output. According to Ansari, over 1,800 large-scale industrial units, including petrochemical plants, are in line to be equipped with the system.
"The system is mainly installed in chimneys as well as sewage collection networks," she said.
"Currently the processing is carried out periodically, yet as soon as DOE approves the data of petrochemical factories, the processing will be done online."
Asked about units not equipped with the system, she said that such industrial complexes should provide DOE with special reports regarding their pollution levels on a regular basis.
Describing air pollution as a serious hazard that threatens the lives and wellbeing of people, Ansari said reducing pollution is high on the government agenda.
Saeed Motessaddi, the deputy head of the Department of Environment, announced that the most practical measure adopted by the government to tackle air pollution has been to change highly polluting fuels, including mazut and diesel, used by industrial facilities.
Pointing to concerted efforts to curb the consumption of mazut as feedstock in power plants by the end of the current fiscal year (March 20, 2018), Motessaddi noted that 220 online pollution control systems have already been installed at major power plants, with a unit being installed at Shohaday-e-Pakdasht Power Plant in Pakdasht County, southeast of Tehran.
"Power plants are moving toward replacing polluting fuels with natural gas as a cleaner energy resource," he said.
Referring to environmentally-friendly initiatives to reduce the consumption of low-quality fuel in power generating facilities, Motessaddi said the development of online air pollution control systems in industrial units is one of the effective means of reducing air pollution.
"Once the system is installed, industries will be obliged to comply with environmental standards round the clock. In case the system faces a technical problem, the whole industrial unit should shut down until the defect is tackled," he said.